Prevention of child maltreatment in high-risk rural families: A randomized clinical trial with child welfare outcomes

Jane F. Silovsky, David Bard, Mark Chaffin, Debra Hecht, Lorena Burris, Arthur Owora, Lana Beasley, Debbie Doughty, John Lutzker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Few studies have specifically examined prevention of child maltreatment among higher-risk populations in rural communities. The overarching goal of this study was to conduct a randomized clinical trial of SafeCare augmented for rural high-risk population (SC+) compared to standard home-based mental health services (SAU) to examine reductions in future child maltreatment reports, as well as risk factors and factors proximal to child maltreatment. Parents (N = 105) of young children (5. years or less) who had identifiable risk of depression, intimate partner violence, or substance abuse were randomized to SC+ or SAU. Participants randomized to SC+ were more likely to enroll (83% vs. 35% for SAU) and remain in services (35. h vs. 8. h for SAU). SC+ (for participants who successfully completed services) may have had limited impact on child welfare reports during service provision. Further, SC+ had fewer child welfare reports related to DV than SAU. Parent self-reports of parenting behaviors, risk factors, and protective factors did not demonstrate significant sustained program impact. Limitations include power constraints related to sample size. Promising next steps entail future trials with larger sample sizes examining service compliance and further augmentation of SafeCare to bolster service impact and address risk and protective factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1435-1444
Number of pages10
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Child Maltreatment
  • Children
  • Prevention
  • SafeCare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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